University Library Committee

Ask a Librarian

March 4, 2008

Members Present
Allen, Barkan, Bhasin, Boxhorn, Corfis, Jasper, Kemnitz, McClements, McMahon, Milner, Schneider (recorder), Silberman, Van Gemert, Wilson, Wiseman

Braithwaite, Burton, Gilbertson, Helman, Konrad, Kruse, Lewis, Phillips, Reeb

Minutes of the February 5 meeting were approved by consensus (with reported corrections made)

All present introduced themselves

Director’s Report, Ed VanGemert

  • VanGemert again thanked Olneck for his efforts in bringing forward the resolution in support of library staff and resources to the faculty senate and for its successful outcome.
  • VanGemert and Frazier have been in discussion with the Provost and Vice-Chancellor about the possibility of an increase to the library’s base budget for acquisitions and additional funds for student help. The libraries are having a difficult time meeting current and growing bioscience research needs on campus. In addition to the increase in their base budget, the library also requested additional one-time funds. Frazier has been working with UW System administration for additional funding in an effort to expand shared resources for all UW System libraries. Silberman asked whether there was any chance of the UW System to get additional funds. VanGemert replied that the library has worked hard to describe the library’s needs and the impact of increased costs and growing information needs.
  • The library recently received their second quarter allocation of the Big Ten Network monies. This allocation is calculated after the reimbursement made to the Athletic Department.
  • The Committee expressed an interest in having a future discussion on how ULC members can help campus libraries in gathering support for library budget increases.
  • VanGemert reported that the libraries are taking an active role in assisting campus researchers, staff, and faculty funded by the NIH in understanding the newly enacted Public Access policy. The library’s Scholarly Communication and Publishing Committee is working with UW Legal Services, Research & Sponsored Programs and the campus Research Deans in getting the word out about the NIH policy and how library staff can assist.
  • The Parent’s Fund is an important resource for libraries. In the previous year, the libraries received several hundred thousand dollars that were used to remodel various campus libraries. Some of the current funds will go to the CIMC and to the Wisconsin Historical Society for remodeling projects.
  • The Library is sponsoring two upcoming symposia. One is covering with the Arts and Humanities and the other deals with student copyright issues.

College Library Update
Carrie Kruse gave an update on College Library initiatives

  • Kruse distributed a handout that highlighted the remodeling efforts on the second floor, laptop checkouts, group study rooms and online reservation system, and the open book café. These recent changes outline the importance of the Parent’s Fund as a funding resource for campus libraries.
  • Kruse reiterated the need for the College Library as the primary library service point for undergraduates. Library staff and services are at the cutting edge of technology and in identifying the changing needs of today’s undergraduate student. College Library thinks of itself as the bridge between the beginnings of a student’s college career to advanced academic study. This gives the library the freedom to be innovative and the opportunity to change resources and services at a fast pace. Through surveys and focus groups, the library has found that they also play a critical role in providing individual and group study spaces and have created study areas that run the gamut from silent to loud & engaging areas. College Library understands the importance of their role in teaching and in providing both technology and research help to undergraduates throughout their experience as a student at the UW-Madison.
  • In exploring the changing environment and their role in the life of the undergraduate, the Library found that the print journal collection was seldom used since students favored the full-text scholarly journals available to them online. As a result, the Library deaccessioned many of their journal titles and back issues and, instead, has focused on reserve course materials and a very browseable collection with very current materials. The Library has found that the high circulation figures have remained constant since many of the journals have been removed.
  • Allen asked about the method of soliciting student feedback on library needs. Kruse replied that the library has used a variety of survey and focus groups scheduled at different times during the day and night to gauge a variety of users. VanGemert noted that the General Library System understands how vital the College Library is to the campus and to the undergraduates here. Silberman asked if there was “competition” between libraries in filling the information needs of the 3 to 4 year students. Kruse replied that libraries have continued to work cooperatively in fulfilling the information needs of all students and in providing welcoming services and spaces. Silberman asked whether the previous concern over conflicting needs of study space versus collection space has gone away. VanGemert answered that the library is continuing their efforts for a storage & preservation facility since many of the campus libraries are reaching (or exceeding) critical mass in terms of collection space. The concern over meeting space needs for both collections and study remains at every library on campus.
  • VanGemert commended Kruse on the work of the College Library staff.

Special Purpose Libraries Report

  • Phillips distributed the annual Special Purpose Libraries Report to committee members and highlighted parts of the report in a Ppt presentation. Wiseman asked whether campus alumni can make use of the special purpose libraries. Phillips said that on-campus use of the libraries is available to everyone and that there is a significant amount of walk-in traffic for some of the libraries. In addition, some of the special purpose libraries have outreach efforts that encompass the state. VanGemert added that the special purpose libraries work collaboratively with all the libraries on campus in providing services and filling information needs.
  • A motion was made to accept the Special Purpose Libraries Report. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 2:55 PM

Next meeting – April 1 – Law Library


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